Let go of the stress and get into the holiday spirit - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Chamber

Let go of the stress and get into the holiday spirit

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Posted: Sunday, December 1, 2013 4:45 am | Updated: 3:59 pm, Sun Feb 23, 2014.

Is it me or does it seem this time of year things seem less stressful, more fun, and energizing?

Some of you may have read that statement and thought, “Absolutely that is true.” Others may have read that and thought I fell off my rocker and landed too hard on my head! So why is it we can get so stressed out this time of year, especially if you are a business owner? Is it that we now start preparing for the holidays in September? Will the business make budget? Will I have time to decorate? Are there too many functions, gatherings, obligations, people to gift, etc?

It can be one or all of the aforementioned and I can truly relate to all of this. From business obligations to family, it feels like I am being pulled in a million directions.

I would love to share how I started worrying less and finding a little more Holiday Spirit, not only for this time of year, but to carry throughout the year.

• Take a deep breath and write it down. First thing to do is to organize all those thoughts and tasks running through your head. Create a list for your business and personal life you can prioritize and do the most important things first. This way you won’t miss anything. After a day, look at the list again and check your prioritization. Still good? Put the top priorities on your calendar and stick to it. Chances are if it isn’t on your calendar it isn’t going to get done. Look at the bottom of the list. Is it worth hiring some seasonal help? You can spread some holiday cheer and money to someone who could really use a few extra dollars this holiday season. If it is not worth it then maybe family or friends can be recruited to help. Are you feeling your shoulders relax already?

• Learn to say “No.” I know this is the season of giving and entertaining, but if you are already spread too thin, say “no” to things. You don’t have to attend every party, function, contribute to every single pot luck, charity, etc. You are not a bad person because you say no every once in a while. In fact a great way to help charities through your business is to host a donation box at your location. These Chamber members are participating in the following drives:

• Washington Federal - St. Vincent de Paul, 4302 E. Ray Road, Phoenix.

• J. Brewer & Assoc, Inc, Toys for Tots, 3636 E. Ray Road, No. 14, Phoenix.

• Club West Golf Club Toys for Tots Golf Tournament, Saturday Dec. 14, (480) 650-7975 for more information.

• First American Title, Toys for Tots, 4435 E. Chandler Blvd., Phoenix.

• Ahwatukee Chamber is a drop off for Foster Kids, 4435 E. Chandler Blvd, No. 140, Phoenix.

• Gratitude. Every day when you wake up, stop and think about what this time of year truly means to you. Find the joy in what you have, the blessings you have been given and what you can share with others. When you start your day with a grateful heart, good things follow.

• “You” time. The first thing I asked you to do is to schedule your priorities. Now I would like to ask you to schedule breaks for yourself where you can take 15 to 30 minutes to just relax and find a quiet few minutes. This will reenergize you to get the rest of your day completed.

• You can only control you. Isn’t it funny how this time of year seems to bring out the worst in some people? Fist fights over discounted goods, cutting lines, parking lot altercations. What happens to us? Unfortunately there is no way to change any of those attitudes but you can certainly take care of your own. When I go out and shop I am sure I give myself enough time to get things accomplished. I expect all will go well and I accomplish what I set out to do. Regardless, and I do mean regardless, of what anyone else does while I am out shopping, I won’t let it ruin my holiday heart. Want to cut in front of me? Want to take my parking spot? Want to grab that last item I was just reaching for? Go ahead. I come from this journey from the mindset that you need it more than I do and I will find a better position/spot/item.

So how does this help holiday spirit and overall good mental health? Try it. Find out how great you feel when all the little things no longer control or bother you. They no longer have a hold on you because you have made the choice to enjoy whatever comes your way and you are prepared for what goals you have to accomplish. Your business will run smoother, the family will be happy, you will smile more, love more and it will show.

I wish you a happy holiday season and a very happy new year!!!

• Christie Ellis, of United Brokers Group, is on the board of directors of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at (480) 201-3575 or Christie.M.Ellis@gmail.com.

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